Nairobi — Kenya Airways (KQ) has doubled the frequency of flights to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia ahead of this year's Hajj season.
Between September 3 and November 10, the airline will increase the number of flights to Jeddah, the gateway to the Islamic holy city of Mecca, from the current twice weekly to four times a week.
This year's Hajj season that is marked annually by Muslims with a pilgrimage to Mecca will be observed in October.
Kenya Airways' Chief Executive Officer Titus Naikuni said that the additional flights will ensure that there is extra capacity to ferry the pilgrims making the annual religious trips to and from the holy city of Mecca through Nairobi.
Under the new schedule, the route will be operated by flight code KQ330 and KQ331 on each of the four days. Flight KQ330 will depart from Nairobi at 2025 hours, arriving at Jeddah at 0025 hours the following day.
The return flight KQ331 from Jeddah will take off at 0145 hours, landing in Nairobi at 0545 hours.
"In line with our objective of connecting Africa to the rest of the world, the additional flights to Jeddah will enable pilgrims travelling to Mecca to seamlessly connect through our Nairobi hub," Naikuni added.
The additional flights are timed to enable connections to Jeddah from key markets in Africa such as Dzaudzi in the Comoros, Lagos in Nigeria, Douala in Cameroon, Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lilongwe in Malawi and Johannesburg in South Africa.
The Islamic religion requires every able-bodied adherent to make at least one pilgrimage to the Holy City of Mecca in their lifetime.